The teachers at Monroe Elementary are always looking for a fun way to reward academic achievement that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. One of our favorites is a Blackout Readathon. I'm pretty sure I got the inspiration for this idea from Mrs. Ashlee Larsen.
Preparing for the blackout is simple: cover the windows with black paper, cover your basic safety guidelines with your students, have the kids get situated in the room, and turn off the lights.
Wait! How do they read in the dark? Well, the day before, you've told them to bring lights. I happened to have a couple dozen battery-operated tea lights available to those who forgot their personal light sources, like mini flashlights or the key chain lights.
Safety is an issue, so I remind the kids that walking around the room without a light is not allowed. They should be reading, not wandering anyway. The energy in the room during this activity is palpable. It is a rare treat to get to do this, so it gets the kids excited.
You might want to give it a try!